A Long Way
Records MIKE 001
Date: 1982 (? undated)
was Fivepenny Piece's first single since their
last for EMI in 1978, and the first issued by
the group following the departure of John Meeks
in 1981. The personnel on the record were founder
members Lynda Meeks, Eddie Crotty,
Colin Radcliffe, George Radcliffe
and John's replacement Trevor Chance,
with Phil Barlow on drums and Pete
Lingwood on keyboards.
The record was issued on a small independent
label Mike Records and this was the first
record issued on that label. The record appears
to have some sort of promotional connection
with a company called Eland Travel of
Surrey, who according to the sleeve note "helped
transport troops to the Falklands". Although
there is no date anywhere on the record or the
sleeve I have guessed it was issued in 1982
because of the Falklands connection, and I assume
the choice of the medley of First World War
songs has some tie-in with that too.
The record came in a picture sleeve with a sepia-tinted
black and white photo of the band on the front
in First World War uniforms and period costume.
The photo was taken outside the gate of the
former Ladysmith Barracks in Mossley Road, Ashton-under-Lyne,
once home of the "Manchesters" (the
Manchester Regiment). The gate was preserved
when the barracks themselves were demolished
to make way for a housing estate. The back of
the sleeve shows three more photos - another
one outside the barracks gate; one with an Eland
bus; and a close-up of the Eland Air logo on
the bus. There is also some text:
Three all-time favourite war songs are incorporated
in "It's A Long Way". Fivepenny Piece
have successfully blended the nostalgia and
comradeship of "Tipperary" and "Pack
Up Your Troubles", together with the hauntingly
plaintive "Keep The Home Fires Burning".
It is an unusual reminder that the past is still
relevant today. "In A World Of Three Foot
Nothing" is a contrast portraying the innocence
The song It's a Long Way to Tipperary
was written in Stalybridge in 1912 after composer
Jack Judge was challenged by a friend to write,
compose and produce a song in just one night.
details given on the sleeve are that the producers
of the record were Trevor Chance and
Pete Lingwood; the engineer was Roger
Salmon; and that the record was recorded
in Bootleg Studios, Reddish. The photographs
were taken by Martin Williscroft, and the sleeve
was "by courtesy of Eland Travel, Surrey".
As for the record label, the company made a
bit of a pig's ear of this! As can be seen from
the labels above, the first side is labelled
Tiperary (sic) and Pack Up Your Troubles,
with side 2 labelled Keep The Home Fires
Burning and World Of Three Foot Nothing.
This gives the impression that the record has
two tracks on each side. In fact all three WWI
songs form the medley It's A Long Way
on side 1, with just the World Of Three Foot
Nothing on side 2, as stated above. Still,
it was the Mike label's first release so perhaps
some allowance should be made!
An interesting curiosity for the Fivepenny Piece
collector, and one of Lynda's last recordings
before leaving the band. The song In A World
Of Three Foot Nothing appeared on the album
We Are Again.
A Long Way a
medley of three songs:
· Tipperary (Jack Judge -
· Keep The Home Fires Burning
(Lena Ford - Ivor Novello)
· Pack Up Your Troubles (George
Asaf - Felix Powell)
A World Of Three Foot Nothing (Trevor
Chance - Colin Radcliffe)
sleeve showing the band in period costume.
Sleeve showing three more photographs
and the sleeve notes.
001 A - front labe showing incorrect track
001 B - back label also showing incorrect